Guns vs Education

For every gun shop in America, there are about one and a half K-12 schools.  If you live in an average American community and count up about how many elementary, middle, and high schools there are around you, there should be two-thirds as many gun retailers. (This includes pawn shops licensed to sell firearms.)

Of course, not everyone is average. Just because the average household in the US has 2.54 people doesn’t mean that every home has two whole individuals hiding half a corpse somewhere. Sixteen states and DC have a higher than average ratio of schools per gun shop, and 35 states are below the average, with nine states within .1 point of a one-to-one parity between schools and gun sellers.

California has four schools per gun retailer, New Jersey has seven. DC is a huge outlier, with 34.50 schools per gun retailer (though neighboring Virginia has 1,634 retailers to DC’s six), so maybe folks just run outside the city to meet their firearm needs?

Alaska is the outlier on the other end, with 2.25 gun shops per school. Wyoming is at the top of the other eight states with more places to buy guns than for your kid to get an education.

You can see how your own state ranks in this handy dandy Google sheet I put together.


Firearm retailer license counts are from the Federal Firearm Licensee by State file for August 2015

Schools by state from the National Center for Education Statistics, by way of



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